The art of saying NO.
Lately with 2012 winding to a close I have been looking back at the many life lessons that helped me shine this year. The hardest lesson was realizing the power of saying NO.
I am a very giving caring person and my empath nature makes me a sniper at feeling other people’s emotions. It’s very difficult for any of my friends to hide their true feelings from me and before they even realize it they are opening up to tell me what is going on. I react to the immediate reading I get from a person and about 90% I’m right.
This makes me a very strong pillar for people to lean on- but it also makes me a target for “leaches” or better known as toxic friends, psychic vampires, and debbie downers.
Everyone has had one of those friends. Maybe the friendships were strong and vibrate at first and you were best pals, then life has its way of turning and you both were walking different paths. Things that you never saw began annoying you. Their attitude became laced with negativity and the constant complaining just seems to suck the life out of you…
I had a strong wonderful sister bond with a woman “Eve” back in college. I was in awe of her strength and kickass bitch-hood. We became pals over night and remained so for several years even after I transferred colleges back to my hometown.
Yet, in that space I began focusing on making myself the best person possible and shine my inner light. I needed positive change in my life and embraced a new way of seeing life. I also refrained from relationships during this period. All and all I was very happy with how my life was going and the goals I was accomplishing. I believed I should be the best possible “ME” before I attempt relationships again.
Eve always had problems picking men and with every let down she became bitterer. When she’d call she’d complain even though I’d point out the red flags with every guy she dated. It was if she never saw the cycle she was in. Her negativity spilled over to bitching about how much she hated her jobs (she walked around with a chip on her shoulder) and never kept them for long. She began swearing the world was against her and if men were going to just use her then she’d use them first. She wanted love but didn’t want to ever open up, so she’d just take a man home to slept with if she wanted. Then cry when he would stop calling a few weeks later. The only 2 long relationships she had ended in typical jerry springer drama which she brought upon herself. She had no morals or self worth and standards.
The woman I looked up too who invested in a dual degree for a highly competitive field had basically decided she’d settle down with the next sweet talker who gave her attention. Within days she’s tell me what their babies would look like.
Our phonecalls began draining me. I would listen and then put the effort into making her feel better and see things from a positive light. It was exhausting…I had already taken the time to remove other negative habits from my life and I didn’t want those slinking back.
Finally I began dreading her phonecalls and would wait a day between to call her back because I just didn’t want to deal with her and her needy negativity whining.
The straw that broke my back was when she bitched about how shitty my job was (I made twice as much as her and enjoyed work) and that my boyfriend was a loser and would drop me before 6 months (we celebrate 1yr in16 days). Misery truly loves company!
I realized at that moment that the trip we had planned would not happen because I didn’t want my boyfriend to MEET her. I didn’t want SEE her. She was walking a Path that I didn’t want to watch her walk down. It would only end in pain and desolation and she would never change on her own and I didn’t have the energy to intervene.
We didn’t speak for 3 weeks after that fight and she smarted off via text one day. “You ever going to speak to me again?”
I never answered back.
I blocked her on facebook, email, I renamed her in my phone and gave her a silent ring/text tone. I removed all friendships linked to her (there was only one).
I WAS DONE.
That day I had the power to say No.
“NO” isn’t about rejection when you hear it.
“NO” is not a bad word. Slap in the face or a form of verbal humiliation.
“NO” is does not have a stigma attached to it or to start a fight.
Saying “NO” is the choice to contain your energy and focus your personal power within your boundaries to what you know deserves your highest effort. To protect your energy from being siphoned into a task, a person, an event, an assignment that IS NOT here for the highest good or to aid you to accomplish your true potential.
How many times have you caught yourself saying “I have something else I could be doing than wasting time doing ________________.”
You didn’t say No when you got wrangled into it did you?
Everyone has the power to self master the word NO. Learning to recognize when you should say no is harder.
Do you want to do this?
Is it a friend asking? Are you afraid of disappointing them?
Do you feel like you “owe them”?
Do you have something else you need to accomplish?
Are you doing this just to shut them up later?
Friendship is two way street- has it turned one way for you?
Are you giving and giving and they are taking all your energy?
Are you the soundboard?
Do they hold any active interest in how your life is?
Venting happens but does it seem every conversation is this way?
Does this friendship empower me?
Does this friendship support my goals and ideas I am working towards?
Does this person value my life goals?
If I do this will I regret it?
Is this action align with my standards and morals?
Is this action filled with love and trust or just “get it over with already” feelings?
Do you feel down, tired, weak, annoyed after talking to them?
Is everything they say negative?
If you ended the action/task/friendship…would you miss the interaction or thankful it’s over?
When someone declines or tells me “they can’t”, “they won’t”…basic “NO” language; I am not hurt, disappointed or upset. I do not know what else these people have on their plates at the moment. If their energy is needed for something greater or more important then that needs to be addressed first. They could also have no energy and need to self-recharge in quietness. Whatever it is- they know what their energy demands are and I need to respect that. There is no cause for hard feelings.
I believe we have people come into our lives when we need them most. They walk with us and we learn our life lessons from them and vice versa. Sometimes as we walk we come to a fork in the road and go our separate ways, hopefully on friendly terms but not always. If we are very lucky some will stick by our sides.
Eve was my lesson in putting my foot down and saying NO. She taught me I have to stick up for what I defined as a friendship and that a one way road on a two way street would not work for me. More so, I had to learn that I can say NO and begin a change if I feel that something is not align with my truest self.